I am still tired from the past week. It felt wonderful to sleep at home. The dogs were thrilled to see me. The cats crawled on my back. My wife was relieved that I was safe and reasonably sound. I expect it will take a few days to get over the tired feeling.
The news today was filled with great exultation over the killing of Osama Bin Laden. While I am glad that he is not a threat anymore, I don't feel celebratory about the whole thing. Killing is not something that I like and rejoicing in the killing of someone, no matter how heinous, seems strange. I feel a bit solemn about it, considering how many lives have been lost and how many billions spent to culminate in this event. I like celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and happy times. His dismal countenance, dismal deeds, and dismal death don't make me want to celebrate.
Tonight, I will be doing the meeting topic on Step Five--Admitted to God, to ourselves and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. I have found this step to be such a relief. And every time that I hear a fifth step, I feel comforted that the person is opening up and getting some of the weight of the past sloughed off.
A lot of people dread this step. Some don't feel worthy to tell someone about their past or wrongs. Some think that they will be judged by the person listening. What I experienced was acceptance. I was accepted. I was accepted as I was, and I was able to dump all the pretense and BS and move on. I was lighter. The fifth step experience did a lot to me and a lot for me. I felt trusting and trusted. It certainly changed how I looked at myself and others--not with self-effacing dislike but with a degree of tenderness that I had not experienced before. I could truly say, "This is who I am, defects and good stuff. All me."
I think that I truly began to feel peacefulness when I did my fifth step. I trusted my sponsor and what I heard in Al-Anon that I would have a joyous life if I would deal with my past. By telling the truth to another human being, I felt accepted and experienced true humility for the first time.
I knew that I had been so lonely and crying out on the inside since I was a child. I just didn't know how to bring people closer to me. To try and fill that need I have done some really insane things. I have heard that we are filled with a huge hole in our psyche from alcoholism. I had hoped that people would fill that hole but that didn't work. I realize now that only the God of my understanding can fill up that hole.
I still struggle with my defects. But I realize that coming clean and being honest about my past, my feelings, my wrongs lifts a big burden and brings a sense of release. I had finally told another person things that I had never told anyone else. And that brought a sense of freedom, tranquility, serenity, and peace within myself. I have gotten better self-knowledge--another term, as I see it, for humility. I have gotten a deeper, surer, more grateful sense of living.
And that is what I want to celebrate today--living. The peace within is what I am so grateful for in recovery. I can go through tumultuous things now without feeling so lost and anxious. I believe that my internal compass is set on a good course at last.